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Effective Criminal Defense Since 1998
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What happens to driving privileges after a DUI or OWI?

Drunk driving charges come with serious penalties that can both inconvenience you and impact your finances. One of the most inconvenient of OWI and DUI penalties in Wisconsin is the loss of driving privileges. The ability to drive directly impacts your ability to work, transport your kids and perhaps continue with your education.

If you lost your license as the result of drunk driving, you may be qualified to seek an occupational license. This provision will allow you to drive yourself to certain places, but comes with significant restrictions. This type of license limits when you can drive, where you can go and even what type of vehicle you can drive.

What can I do with an occupational license?

While Wisconsin does allow certain individuals to drive while their licenses are suspended, there are strict limitations that must be followed. Violations will result in the immediate loss of the occupational license. With this, you will have permission to drive yourself to the following places:

  • Work
  • School or college
  • Grocery store
  • Pharmacy
  • Laundromat
  • Gas station
  • Church or place of worship
  • Necessary family needs, such as doctor appointments
  • To attend Driver Safety Plan

An occupational license does not allow the driver to go places for social, entertainment or recreational purposes. It also does not allow the holder to drive a commercial vehicle for any reason.

Securing an occupational license

Getting an occupational license is not necessarily an easy process. Not everyone who wants one will get one, and in order to secure one, you must include the following information on your application:

  • The Wisconsin counties in which you need to drive
  • Other states where you need to drive

You will also have to check to see if you are eligible and then complete the required paperwork. Proof of identity, legal residency and insurance will be required. You may have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and provide proof of installation if the court orders you to do so. In addition, you must register with the drug or alcohol programs required as part of your sentence.

An occupational license will limit your freedom, allowing only 12 hours driving per day or 60 total for the week, but it may be necessary in order to keep your career or education on track. When you work with an experienced DUI defense attorney, you can better know if you are eligible for this type of license and how to go about applying for one.